Reproducing Neve Tones With SoundToys

Reproducing Neve Tones With SoundToys

I’m a UAD-2 user. I’ve had my UAD-2 Satellite Duo for six years and the number of plugins I’ve got are what you’d need to get along with a mix or mastering project. I got the first UAD-1 PCI card probably 10 years ago and was blown away with the now legacy versions of the LA-2A and 1176. I however stopped investing in UAD plugins a year, or so, ago because I got tired of hauling the Satellite box around and wanted a native solution; less cables, less power cords, less FireWire ports used. I picked up the Waves Gold bundle and added a the CLA bundle and API bundle on top. My idea was to actually sell the UAD-2 Satellite Duo along with all the plugins I had.

Then my focus shifted a bit. I started using the UAD alongside the Waves plugins, because they sound really good. My best friend and brother in (studio) arms had long before recommended me the SoundToys bundle with the words:

If you have the SoundToys bundle you really don’t need anything beside apart from a good EQ.

My Best Friend and Studio-Brother in Arms

I really liked it. EchoBoy basically made me stop using Timeless 2 by FabFilter. I also stopped using the UAD Roland RE-201 Space Echo (which you can’t buy these days!) because I thought EchoBoy captured the essence just as good but in a, if I wanted to, more controlled way. Crystallizer is one of my favourite creative effects for getting that certain shimmer. So surely, the SoundToys bundle is great, but it didn’t replace the rest of my plugins.

UAD Neve 1073 Preamp Promotion

Universal Audio sent me a newsletter the other day with some nice rebates. On the first look I actually thought that I’d get the Neve 1073 Preamp for €99 since I was a Neve 88RS owner. But it actually would cost me €249 to get it. Anyhow, I activated the 88RS Channel Strip, the Neve 1073 Preamp and the API Vision Channel Strip to give them all a go. I luckily had a nice Korg MS-20 bassline which I’ve done for a another friend which I could use for my initial testing (but sadly not to share with you since it’s an unreleased song and I’d be broke from the suing if I did). The Neve 88RS Channel Strip would cost me €99 as an upgrade from the 88RS Legacy plugin. But my testings revealed that I didn’t like the sound from any of the 88RS’s. Not at all.

UAD API Vision Channel Strip

The API Vision was sublime though, but would I really use a channel strip plugin that much? Isn’t a channel strip plugin just like the boring stuff DAW manufacturers toss along to make the list of shipped things look long? The thing with having a lot of different compressors, EQ’s and so on is so you can pick the gems you like. Using a channel strip is sure a fast way to lift a track in the song, but it’s also taking away all those nice possibilities that comes from combining your favourites. But I really liked the sound of the API Vision. Then I tested the Neve 1073 Preamp (which isn’t a channel strip at all, but just a Preamp and an EQ). Wow! If I combined the Preamp section (flat EQ settings) and had it in serial with the Vision — things started to sound just how I like it.

Recreation Time

I texted my friend saying that I tried the 88RS (which would cost me €99) ending up wanting the 1073 and Vision for €249 each. He texted me back, as a real fanboy, saying:

Tested them against SoundToys’ Radiator? Radiator is of course a model of a completely different hardware, but still.

The Same Friend As Above

I did. And I stuck a Decapitator in there too with gentle settings before adding the Waves API 550B EQ after the SoundToys Effect Rack.

SoundToys Effect Rack

I got so close to the Neve 1073 Preamp that I saved these settings as a preset to use in future productions. I will probably stick these on almost every track to give them some warmth.

This saved me almost €500. And I guess this is why my friend’s always raving about how good the SoundToys bundle is. And I have to agree. It’s absolutely mindblowing sometimes.

And the CPU usage is far from heavy either. I’m on an i7 here and the meter barely moves. When I stick the Neve 1073 Preamp in there the CPU bar of UAD meter goes to 34% which is a bit of a lie since it comsumes 67% of one of my UAD cores. I can only use two at the same time. And if I wanted to add something else like the Empirical Labs EL7 Fatso — I can’t — since it uses 40%. Yes, the UAD plugins sounds amazing. My UAD-2 Satellite is old and I guess they want me to get the Octo version (or four of them) by now. That’s why I’ll stick with native plugins, like SoundToys. If you want to know more about the SoundToys 5 and their Effect Rack give Mitch’s explaination video a look: Getting Around In Soundtoys 5 Effect Rack on YouTube.

If you’d like to view my settings for all the plugins used, then here’s a list:

UAD Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ

UAD API Vision Channel Strip

PreSonus Fat Channel

UAD Meter (with one API Vision and one 1073 Preamp)

UAD Control Panel (with one API Vision and one 1073 Preamp)


Swedish artist, music producer, composer and remixer.